Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cardio Kills?

If you been on this blog more than once you know that I prefer cardio intervals for fat loss over long duration, steady state cardio.

Here's an excerpt from an excellent article by Darin Steele that I recently came across.

The common myth that jogging is better for fat loss, fitness, & health is a strong one that is wrong;

The old school text books & simple minds say; "To burn fat, you must stay in the fat burning zone (heart rate between 50-65%) for 60-70 minutes. You don't start burning fat until about 20 minutes into the work-out. So if you do a 70 minute session, you will get 50 minutes of fat burning.

I am going to clear this up for you once and for all. You see, for fat loss, it is not about where your body gets the energy from the work-out for (slow go cardio / fat, interval / glycogen) nearly as much as it is total calories.

You see, the instant that you are done with low intensity jogging, your body is done burning calories. But, do an intense set of intervals, and your body burns calories for the 2-4 hours after the work-out. So the total amount of calories burned form intense interval far exceeds that of jogging type cardio.

Another big advantage that you get with interval cardio that most do not know about is that it changes the way your body stores your calories in the future: and in a very good way. You see most of the benefits of exercise come after the exercise is completed. It is how the body adapts and changes. Tear down muscles by weight lifting, and in the 1-2 days after, the body repairs the tiny micro tears back so they are a little bigger & stronger.

Well, cardio is much the same way. When you do low intensity jogging type cardio, your body says, "It's a good thing I had that fat there to supply energy for that work out". So it makes sure that it has plenty of fat there in preparation for the next "slow go cardio" session.

But when you do intense intervals, your body says, "It's a good thing I had that glycogen in the muscles for that interval cardio". So when it breaks down your future meals, it stores more of the carbs as glycogen in the muscles and the liver in preparation for the future "Interval Cardio" sessions. In essence, your gas tanks enlarge with useful energy. This is great for at least two reasons.

The entire article is here.

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